May 21st, 2008
02:55 PM ET

Jim Webb's Time to Fight

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Katrina vanden Heuvel
Editor, The Nation

Jim Webb can make the Four Seasons feel like a diner in Owensboro, Kentucky. It's that kind of blue-collar street cred that may be just what it takes to propel the first-term senator from Virginia onto the Democratic ticket as vice president.

On Monday night, at a party for his latest book, "A Time to Fight: Reclaiming a Fair and Just America," the first term Senator from Virginia filled the dining citadel of elitism with a spirited mix of active duty and retired Marines and New York's media glitterati. After he said a few words, Webb remained at the made-for-the-occasion podium–as if he were campaigning–and took questions.

Ronald Reagan's former Secretary of the Navy has refocused the warrior ambition that made him the most highly decorated Vietnam-era Marine from his Naval Academy into a passionate, progressive and patriotic populism. When asked, by The New Yorker's Rick Hertzberg, what he thought of those who opposed the Vietnam war, Webb said "I never had a problem with those who properly opposed the war. I had a problem with the way vets were treated when they got home."

Filed under: Jim Webb • Katrina vanden Heuvel